Making hearing affordable
What are the costs involved in getting an implant?
Some people worry that getting a cochlear implant may be very expensive. The overall cost is made up of a number of different components, some of which may be covered under private health insurance or through the public system.
These may include:
- Audiologist appointments
- ENT Specialist appointment, and any X-rays or MRIs required
- Surgery expenses and post-operative care
- Cochlear implant device cost
- Post-operative appointments and sound processor activation
Find the support available to you
Depending on your age and circumstances, there are a number of different ways you may be able to receive financial support in Australia.
State government support (public hospitals)
State governments also fund a limited number of cochlear implants each year. Each state varies in the number they fund; additionally, there are usually waiting lists for this funding. Children are typically the priority, however funding is also available for adults.
Private health insurance
If you have a private health insurance policy covering surgically implanted prostheses, the cochlear implant device and procedures are covered. Private health insurers are able to provide full reimbursement for the cochlear implant system. Coverage of the surgical procedure and any hospital costs will depend on your level of insurance.
Australian Hearing provides a full range of hearing services for children and young people up to the age of 26, eligible adults, aged pensioners and most war veterans. Funding support is provided for a range of hearing-related services, including:
- Comprehensive hearing assessments
- Fitting and monitoring of hearing aids
- Fitting and maintenance of amplification devices
- Ongoing supply of batteries
- Maintenance and repairs for hearing aids and cochlear implant sound processors
- Support for children wearing cochlear implants, including sound processor upgrades
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
The DVA provides devices included on the Prostheses List and will cover 100% of costs associated with cochlear implants.
If private health insurance or government funding does not cover you, then you can pay for a cochlear implant system and specialist and surgical costs yourself. Make sure you discuss this with your medical team so you are aware of all the costs involved.
I live in New Zealand, are any of my costs subsidised?
In New Zealand, the Ministry of Health funds cochlear implant services for people who:
- Have severe to profound hearing loss
- Cannot be helped by standard hearing aids
- Have been assessed as likely to benefit from a cochlear implant
- Are eligible for publicly funded health and disability services
- Live permanently in New Zealand
- Do not qualify for cochlear implant funding through ACC
For more information, visit the Ministry of Health.
ACC funding may be available if the hearing loss was caused by an accident.
Please seek advice from your medical practitioner or health professional about treatments for hearing loss. They will be able to advise on a suitable solution for the hearing loss condition. All products should be used only as directed by your medical practitioner or health professional.
Not all products are available in all countries. Please contact your local Cochlear representative.